Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Norwegian millionaire's wife likely to have been kidnapped, say police

Norwegian millionaire's wife likely to have been kidnapped, say police

The wife of a Norwegian businessman with a $200 million fortune was kidnapped months ago, police announced Wednesday, noting the case was kept on "a low profile" because "very serious threats have been made".

He said officers had been working on the case for several weeks and have urged the family not to pay the ransom.

In addition to investigations by local police, Interpol and Europol are now also looking into the case, although they have received "no signs of life" from Hagen since her disappearance in October.

Police wouldn't divulge the size of the demand.

The house (C) of Norwegian real estate investor Tom Hagen and his wife Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who according to the authorities is suspected to have been kidnapped, in Fjellhamar, Norway, Jan. 9, 2019.

A ransom demand for €9 million (£8.1 million) in cryptocurrency has been issued for the release of the 68-year-old woman, the Norwegian Verdens Gang newspaper said.

Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, 68, the wife of real estate investor Tom Hagen, went missing on October 31, but news of her disappearance had not previously been disclosed and police said they could not confirm whether she was still alive.

Broeske said "those behind have chosen to communicate digitally and we have had no other type of contact".

Police were due to give a press conference on the matter later Wednesday.

Broadcaster NRK said the ransom had been demanded in an equivalent amount of the cryptocurrency Monero - a digital currency similar to Bitcoin.

Police have received no proof that the woman is alive "but we haven't received any indication that she isn't alive either", Brøske said.

It said Mrs Hagen appeared to have been abducted from the bathroom of her home and that there had been "limited dialogue" with the alleged kidnappers over the internet.

Police believe she disappeared from the couple's home, some 31 miles from the Swedish border.

Mr Hagen's lawyers have told news outlets he will not comment on the story at this time.

Investigators refused to comment on that report, but said global police were cooperating on the case.

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